File Barcode.hpp

namespace ActsFatras
class Barcode : public Acts::MultiIndex<uint64_t, 12, 12, 16, 8, 16>
#include <ActsFatras/EventData/Barcode.hpp>

Particle identifier that encodes additional event information.

The barcode has to fulfill two separate requirements: be able to act as unique identifier for particles within an event and to encode details on the event structure for fast lookup. Since we only care about tracking here, we need to support two scenarios:

  • Identify which primary/secondary vertex particles belong to. No information on intermediate/unstable/invisible particles needs to be retained. This information is already available in the underlying generator event and should not be duplicated.

  • If (visible) particles convert, decay, or interact with the detector, we need to be able to identify the initial (primary) particle. Typical examples are pion nuclear interactions or electron/gamma conversions.

The vertex information is encoded as two numbers that define the primary and secondary vertex. The primary vertex must be non-zero. Particles with a zero secondary vertex originate directly from the primary vertex.

Within one vertex (primary+secondary) each particle is identified by a particle, generation, and sub-particle number. Particles originating from the vertex must have zero generation and zero sub-particle number; a consequence is that only non-zero generation can have non-zero sub-particle numbers. A non-zero generation indicates that the particle is a descendant of the original particle, e.g. from interactions or decay, while the sub-particle number identifies the descendant particle.

With this encoding, non-primary particles and their primary parent can be easily identified at the expense of not storing the exact decay history.

A barcode with all elements set to zero (the default value) is an invalid value that can be used e.g. to mark missing or unknown particles.


A particle generated in a primary interaction might have the barcode

2|0|14|0|0 -> vertex=2 (primary), particle=14, generation=0, sub=0

A simulation module might generate an interaction and create two new particles. These are descendants of the initial particle and the simulation module can generate the new barcodes directly by increasing the generation number and chosing sub-particle identifiers:

2|0|14|1|0 -> vertex=2 (primary), particle=14, generation=1, sub=0
2|0|14|1|1 -> vertex=2 (primary), particle=14, generation=1, sub=1

If these secondary particles generate further tertiary particles the barcode would be e.g.

2|0|14|2|0 -> vertex=2 (primary), particle=14, generation=2, sub=0

Possible issues

The hierachical nature of the barcode allows barcode creation without a central service. Since the full history is not stored, generated barcodes for higher-generation particles can overlap when generated by independent interactions. Assuming an initial primary particle with barcode

3|4|5|0|0 -> particle=5

a first interaction might create a secondary particle by increasing the generation number (without destroying the initial particle)

3|4|5|1|0 -> particle=5, generation+=1, first sub-particle

The initial particle gets simulated further and at another step a second interaction also creates a new particle. Since it knows nothing about the previously created particle (no central service), it will generate

3|4|5|1|0 -> particle=5, generation+=1, first sub-particle

which is identical to the previously create barcode. These cases can be easily solved by renumbering the sub-particle identifier within each generation to contain unique values. However, this can only be done when all particles are known.

Public Types

using Value = T

The type of ther underlying storage value.

Public Functions

inline Barcode()
Barcode(const Barcode&) = default
Barcode(Barcode&&) = default
inline constexpr Value generation() const

Return the generation identifier.

inline Barcode makeDescendant(Value sub = 0u) const

Construct a new barcode representing a descendant particle.


sub – sub-particle index of the new barcode.

Barcode &operator=(const Barcode&) = default
Barcode &operator=(Barcode&&) = default
inline constexpr Value particle() const

Return the particle identifier.

inline constexpr Barcode &setGeneration(Value id)

Set the particle identifier.

inline constexpr Barcode &setParticle(Value id)

Set the parent particle identifier.

inline constexpr Barcode &setSubParticle(Value id)

Set the process identifier.

inline constexpr Barcode &setVertexPrimary(Value id)

Set the primary vertex identifier.

inline constexpr Barcode &setVertexSecondary(Value id)

Set the secondary vertex identifier.

inline constexpr Value subParticle() const

Return the sub-particle identifier.

inline constexpr Value vertexPrimary() const

Return the primary vertex identifier.

inline constexpr Value vertexSecondary() const

Return the secondary vertex identifier.

Private Types

using Base = Acts::MultiIndex<uint64_t, 12, 12, 16, 8, 16>